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Soar...

Old 2nd Jan 2021, 01:22
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Angry

Neel Khokhani is a crook, plain and simple. I recall he said to me about the Scoopon/Groupon vouchers for TIF's, "I don't care if the customer never redeems their voucher as I already have their money". This summarises his attitude completely. The majority of these "TIF's" were sold to inbound Chinese tourists who couldn't even speak English let alone have an interest in learning to fly. It is ILLEGAL to advertise and operate JOY FLIGHTS in RA aircraft. Hence why they were marketed as "TIF's". Neel was obviously operating ILLEGALLY for many years and the authorities CASA and RAAus did NOTHING about it. TIME FOR THE FEDERAL POLICE TO FIND THIS ****** AND TAKE ALL HIS ILL GOTTEN MONEY, THEN EITHER DEPORT HIM OR PUT HIM IN JAIL FOR LIFE!

Mods, this post is not slander, it is the truth. I was there. I know this to be the true facts.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 01:48
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Neel was obviously operating ILLEGALLY for many years and the authorities CASA and RAAus did NOTHING about it.
Is that because they were selling TIF’s? That is standard industry practice and all schools sell TIF’s for marketing purposes. In tourist areas it is very common and the TIF costs are highly inflated.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 04:56
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Then either you misunderstood or he did, because that's not how Groupon works. When a Groupon voucher is purchased the company it is for doesn't get a dime until it's actually redeemed, Scoopon are different but not always as well.

Don't get me wrong, he's a crook but stick to the actual facts. Can someone point out the actual reg that makes it illegal for a Joy/Scenic Flight to be carried out in an RAAus Aircraft, genuinely curious as it's not a field I've looked into much and a bit of googling around doesn't seem to reveal much unfortunately.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 06:08
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ixixly View Post
Can someone point out the actual reg that makes it illegal for a Joy/Scenic Flight to be carried out in an RAAus Aircraft, genuinely curious as it's not a field I've looked into much and a bit of googling around doesn't seem to reveal much unfortunately.
RAAus aircraft used by SOAR operated under CAO 95.55 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00070 They must operate under the RAAus Ops Manual https://members.raa.asn.au/storage/6...ngle-pages.pdf and only for private operations or flying training. Scenic or joy flights for reward are charter.
From CAO 95.55

6.1 The following general conditions apply in relation to a relevant aeroplane:

(a) a person must not use the aeroplane other than for:

(i) private operations, including glider towing, but not an aerial application operation; or

(ii) if the aeroplane has been wholly built and assembled by a commercial manufacturer — flying training, to enable the person to obtain a RAA pilot certificate; or

(iii) if the person has wholly built or assembled the aeroplane, whether individually or with other persons — the person’s personal flying training;
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 06:12
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by Ixixly View Post
Then either you misunderstood or he did, because that's not how Groupon works. When a Groupon voucher is purchased the company it is for doesn't get a dime until it's actually redeemed, Scoopon are different but not always as well.

Don't get me wrong, he's a crook but stick to the actual facts. Can someone point out the actual reg that makes it illegal for a Joy/Scenic Flight to be carried out in an RAAus Aircraft, genuinely curious as it's not a field I've looked into much and a bit of googling around doesn't seem to reveal much unfortunately.
There's no equivalent to a CPL or Class 1 medical in RAAus...both of which are needed to operate joy/scenic flights. If you want to operate an RAAus aircraft, you must be a financial member of RAAus, hold a valid pilot certificate (not licence), and self-certify that you're medically fit. The only exception is for instructors, who must hold a Class 2 or the RAAus equivalent.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 06:34
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Originally Posted by Stikman View Post
There's no equivalent to a CPL or Class 1 medical in RAAus...both of which are needed to operate joy/scenic flights. If you want to operate an RAAus aircraft, you must be a financial member of RAAus, hold a valid pilot certificate (not licence), and self-certify that you're medically fit. The only exception is for instructors, who must hold a Class 2 or the RAAus equivalent.
Thanks Stikman, that explains a lot! I thought it was an exemption in the CASA regs to operate under the RAAus Ops Manual so was looking solely in the RAAus Ops for types of flights permitted but this makes a lot more sense now, cheers.

The next question though, Soar didn't solely operate RAAus so were they doing the TIFs in their VH Registered Aircraft I wonder. Would think that otherwise they'd have been pulled up a long time ago and this is how they got around it. Interestingly their website still makes no mention of the current proceedings either.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 07:12
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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The TIF is achieved legitimately by signing up the student for a temporary free RAAus membership.

This system is well sorted and has been the case for many a years and is all legal.

All RAAus schools do TIF’s, however some do a lot more than others, particularly in areas with high tourist flow or other effective methods of advertising.

Option (ii) above covers Soar’s TIF’s.

Their business practices on the other hand, are not something that CASA or RAAus have control over.


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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 07:25
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not sure of the history of Soar after March 2015, however, up until then they were pretty much strictly RAAus. Once Neel got hold of an AOC (interesting story as to why he didn't get his own..), he started doing the odd charter flight in cross-hired aircraft. As far as I know, all TIFs were done under the RAAus banner....certainly this was the case up until March 2015.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 08:02
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
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The TIF scam has been running for a long, long time. Students of SMS will be aware of the term ‘normalised deviation’. That’s what TIFs are.

When it goes horribly wrong, the ‘operator’ and CASA will be on the same rather than different sides of the court.

Cloudee quoted one of the key conditions on the main exemption under which the ‘ultralight’ community continues to escape the clutches of the regulatory Frankenstein’s monster. Someone walking off the street and paying money to be flown around in an aircraft s/he didn’t buy or build - pretend training or otherwise - doesn’t satisfy the condition.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 08:29
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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When it goes horribly wrong, the ‘operator’ and CASA will be on the same rather than different sides of the court.
Ahah! Who said the industry and the regulator can’t work together? !!!
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 11:09
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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They bought it
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 05:10
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
The TIF scam has been running for a long, long time. Students of SMS will be aware of the term ‘normalised deviation’. That’s what TIFs are.

When it goes horribly wrong, the ‘operator’ and CASA will be on the same rather than different sides of the court.

Cloudee quoted one of the key conditions on the main exemption under which the ‘ultralight’ community continues to escape the clutches of the regulatory Frankenstein’s monster. Someone walking off the street and paying money to be flown around in an aircraft s/he didn’t buy or build - pretend training or otherwise - doesn’t satisfy the condition.
Obviously, you've seen how other RAAus flight schools operate, otherwise you're speculating. I don't believe that there is anything inherently illegal about a TIF done in a factory built and LAME maintained RAAus aircraft. Provided that the RAAus instructor acts within both the letter, and the spirit, of the rules, then the TIF is done as a TIF. We look on the ability to conduct TIFs as a major student influencer, and it would be a major setback were it to be made illegal.

This includes signing the person up via an RAAus 'temporary membership' form, giving them a fundamentals brief, then treating them as a student and not a passenger. In flight, they must operate the controls iaw with what's in the Lesson 1 (E & OC). 9/10 of the TIFs that we conduct here are with people who have expressed a strong interest in learning to fly, and we are in a major tourist location. If they want a joyflight, we direct them to the nearby GA school which has a C172.

happy days,
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 06:37
  #33 (permalink)  
Fwh
 
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Glad i didn't do my training here, there seems to be a lot of crooks in the industry looking to break rules so they can make quick money.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 10:08
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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A TIF in a RAAus aircraft is fine. Even for those students eventually wanting to go GA CPL etc it is a great and cheap way to get up to the same level as a GA Recreational Pilot Licence equivalency and jump into GA syllabus from there.
However at SOAR it was VERY clear to me and anyone else around SOAR at the time (2015 prior to Neel buying Gobels Aviation AOC) that the persons enjoying these "TIFs" were NOT POTENTIAL STUDENTS. They were Chinese tourists. Hardly ANY of them wanted to take the controls, they couldn't speak a word of English, and just took selfies all flight. They were clearly Joy flights which are ILLEGAL in RAAus aircraft. No doubt about it in my mind. I was there. I KNOW FIRST HAND!
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 10:52
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by Fwh View Post
Glad i didn't do my training here, there seems to be a lot of crooks in the industry looking to break rules so they can make quick money.
Unfortunately that’s GA, there will be another to replace SOAR.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 18:34
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 1998
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I was there. I KNOW FIRST HAND!
Ah, the outrage of the Aussie pilot who spots what they think is a monor infraction of Rule xx.yy, part ww, Section zz, paragraph tt.

If the aircraft were loaded with three Chinese tourists, flying for an hour and a half around the sight-seeing areas - perhaps. But what difference between a TIF customer who says "I just want to get a feel for it" and takes selfies, and a custormer who actually touches the controls?
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 22:40
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The Peninsula
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I was there. I KNOW FIRST HAND!
Did you report any of your concerns? Did you conduct any of these flights?

I think I know the answer to both of these questions.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 23:08
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
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Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
Thinking back to all the YMMB based training and charter outfits that I have known over the years that are all long gone. Maybe RVAC still exists but what about Schutts, Civils, Peninsula, Ken Sharp's GFS, Campbell-Hicks, Combined, Australian Air Charters, Airchart, Bassair, Flinders Is. Airways, Phoenix, John Corrells, Nicholas Skyways, Jayrow, Pipair, Peter Bini and numerous others that came after I stopped frequenting Moorabbin. Essendon and Bankstown the same.
Some still going fine, some rebadged or taken over and still here in another form.

Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
All have in common is leaving people without jobs.
Be interesting to compare the numbers employed pre-COVID with those employed in earlier years.

Originally Posted by zanthrus View Post
Neel Khokhani ... said to me about the Scoopon/Groupon vouchers for TIF's, "I don't care if the customer never redeems their voucher as I already have their money". This summarises his attitude completely.
Depends on the context of what he said to you. I said the same about some charity flights - more than happy to fly them even after some years have passed but I'm not going to chase them. Gee, until a year or so ago, most vouchers expired after a year and many Finance Managers would say the same - ever tried to use an expired movie voucher?

David J Pilkington is offline  
Old 4th Jan 2021, 00:36
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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The joy flight gift voucher rate runs in the industry at about a 30% no-show.

You could sit a non-operational TigerMoth next to the highway and sell flights as vouchers.

Short of social media and word of mouth destroying your scam, you’d pick up 30% for doing nothing.
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 01:00
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The Peninsula
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One thing I'm interested in, are the students creditors? Quite a bit of their tuition will have been forward paid. I doubt the students will have the capacity to refuse to pay the VET LOAN back to the taxpayer via the government, so the government will keep taking the payments? I seriously doubt that any tuition money will be refunded to the students by the administrator. If this is the case, will the class action target the government for charging the student for services not provided?

Maybe there is a day of reckoning coming for VET Student Loans and the aviation sector?

Whist most of you think they are overpriced and a rip off (that can be argued) most of the cost that goes on top of the aircraft hire charges stem from RTO compliance (significant) and actually employing the instructors correctly (award wages, structure of employment etc). It is not cheap to obtain VET Student Loans or RTO status for your organisation, this cost must be passed on, simple fact of business. Ragging organisations for the cost of a pilots license under VET Student Loans verse self funding is simplistic in the extreme.

If VET Student Loans disappear GA will contract significantly, maybe this needs to happen? Add to this the extremely poor trading relationship between China and Australia. China has options, Australia is not the only place cadet training takes place, their GA capacity is expanding significantly. If they walk away, another contraction.

It seems that most Australians seem to think that closing borders is keeping them safe, I wonder what being 'kept safe' will look like when the federal government runs out of patience with state border shutdowns. Tsunami awaits I reckon.
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